ATA report forecasts trucking gains through 2022

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Updated May 21, 2011

After a dip during the Great Recession, the U.S. freight economy, particularly for trucking, is projected to grow significantly in the years ahead, according to American Trucking Associations’ U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2022.

The forecast, the product of a collaboration between ATA, IHS Global Insight and Martin Labbe Associates, lays out the current state of the freight economy, where trucking is the leading mode of transportation, and projects an even more robust role for trucks in the future.

“The trucking industry continues to dominate the freight transportation industry in terms of both tonnage and revenue, comprising 67 percent of tonnage and 81 percent of revenue in 2010,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello wrote in this year’s forecast.

Overall, total freight tonnage is expected to grow by 24 percent by 2022, and revenue for the freight transportation industry is projected to rise 66 percent in that same timeframe. Trucking’s share of that market will rise to 70 percent by 2022, though the industry’s share of freight revenues will increase only to 81.4 percent from 81.2 percent.

In other surface modes, rail’s overall share of tonnage will fall to 14.6 percent in 2022 from 15.3 percent in the baseline year of 2010. However, intermodal tonnage will rise 6.6 percent a year between 2011 and 2016, and 5.5 percent annually through 2022. Revenues for intermodal transportation will jump from $11.1 billion in 2010 to $30.7 billion in 2022.

Domestic waterborne transportation will show modest growth between now and 2022 – growing 2 percent a year until 2016, then 0.2 percent annually through 2022. Revenues for short-sea shippers will grow to $16.2 billion in 2022 from $11.1 billion in 2010.

“At a time when our nation’s leaders are debating what our future transportation system should look like, the forecast is a tremendous resource,” Costello said. “The forecast can also help America’s business leaders as they plan what their future logistics plans and businesses will look like.”

The ATA U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast to 2022 can be purchased as a bound volume, a CD or a downloadable PDF at or by calling 866-821-3468.